Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Five -- Martha Brockenbrough

Martha Brockenbrough is a crusader after my own heart - she founded National Grammar Day (March 4!) and the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.  Always good to know there's someone out there who knows where their prepositions are supposed to be at.  She is also the author of DEVINE INTERVENTION, published by Scholastic in June!


1.  What is the worst thing anyone has said to you?

This is a fun question to answer. There are so many ways I could take revenge on … but no. No one has ever said anything worse to me than the things I’ve said myself. As I get older and theoretically wiser, I realize that I’m not doing myself any favors by being hard on myself. One of the characters in my book hears a voice in her head, which I intended as a metaphor of sorts. Here’s hoping any voices we choose to listen to are kind and compassionate ones.

2.  What is your guiltiest pleasure? 

I homeschool my girls, and there are some days we just don’t want to do any book learnin’. We’ve escaped this by going to a beach that’s close to our house, by spending the afternoon drinking tea and eating buttery toast, and a couple of times, by watching movies under the covers together.It’s a great guilty pleasure to get to spend this kind of time with my girls.

3.  What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I don’t give up. When there is something I’d like to do, I keep working at it. For me, it’s not about any sort of accomplishments list I keep, but rather, that I give everything my all. For example, it took me many years to learn how to do a handstand in yoga. It’s not a huge deal. Lots of people can do it. Small children can do it! But I had to keep trying and that day my feet finally went up and stayed up, I was elated.

4.  Who would play you in the film of your life?

Tina Fey or Janeane Garofolo. Think of someone slightly too loud for the library—but likely to be found there anyway, getting Cheeto dust on everything.
5.  Who are your real-life heroes?

I have many. Marla Smith-Nilson, who founded Water1st, and works tirelessly to make sure the world’s poor have clean water and sanitation. ( My childhood swim coach, Christy Shake, whose son was born missing parts of his brain and now struggles with epilepsy. She blogs aboutthis journey every day at Calvin’s Story, and it’s a reminder to me of how much courage and grace one woman can summon.  And finally, in my neighborhood, the guys who run St. Cloud’s restaurant. They make meals for the homeless once a month, inviting people to pitch in. It’s a great reminder of the difference you can make doing what you already do.


Jerome Hancock is Heidi Devine's guardian angel. Sort of. He's more of an angel trainee, in heaven's soul-rehabilitation program for wayward teens. And he's just about to get kicked out for having too many absences and for violating too many of the Ten Commandments for the Dead.

Heidi, meanwhile, is a high school junior who dreams of being an artist, but has been drafted onto her basketball team because she's taller than many a grown man. For as long as she can remember, she's heard a voice in her head - one that sings Lynyrd Skynyrd, offers up bad advice, and yet is company during those hours she feels most alone.

When the unthinkable happens, these two lost souls must figure out where they went wrong and whether they can make things right before Heidi's time is up and her soul is lost forever.

You can order a signed copy of DEVINE INTERVENTION here!


You can find Martha on her website.
On Twitter.
On Facebook.
And find her other books here!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Important Things

I've been learning a lot of important life lessons these past two weeks.  And I tell you, the big stuff really shows you what the small stuff is.  They aren't lessons that I wanted to learn.  They are, probably, lessons I needed to learn - everyone does - but that doesn't mean the timing is welcome.  But it has really made me review my perspective and my priorities.

What's important?  Family.  Health.  Love.  Courage.  Comfort.  Kindness.

And to me, writing a good book is important, too.  Probably not up there with the stuff I listed above.  But still a huge part of me.  I'm about to finish revisions on Book 2.  And I am about to take myself to place where I can do that without distractions.  This means setting aside some of the really important stuff for a few days - family, especially.  And that's hard.  But I'm lucky to have a family who support that, and who wouldn't want me to stick around and sacrifice a good book for their sake.

That's one of the reasons family is so important.

So think about it.  Think about it hard.  Imagine life is dealing out lessons to you - some of the hardest ones you'll ever learn.

What's important to you?